As a former photojournalist and UAA journalism professor, Carolyn Hall had multiple experiences carrying 60 pounds of camera equipment. The public asked her where the cameraman was. She always had to point out that she was the cameraman. During these encounters and many others behind the scenes, Hall realized that women experienced more issues with sexism than men.
She decided to join up with news reporter for KSBW Monterey, California and former KTVA reporter, Sierra Starks, to create a podcast discussing the issues in TV news.
Hall, a current graduate student in the Master of Public Administration at UAA, borrowed the elements of a podcast called “Call your Girlfriend” by creating free flow conversations and created “Women on Deadline” that talked about the experiences women face that are uniquely different from men.
“There has long been male dominance in particular when it comes to photojournalism like still photography and video,” Hall said. “There have been a lot of men on the scene dominating the conversation in the workforce. I think we’re starting to get a growing number of different places where women’s voices are being heard in the newsroom, but it’s still nowhere near what should be when you look at the perceived ratio of men to women in the workforce.”
According to American Society of News Editors’ Newsroom Employment Survey in 2017, women make up more than a third of overall newsroom employees at 39.1 percent, compared to 38.7 percent in 2016. Approximately 44 percent of newsrooms have increased their gender diversity since the survey began in 2001.
In the pilot episode of “Women on Deadline,” Hall introduces Starks, who says she brings a different perspective as a woman of color that helps create a well-rounded discussion.
“I do a lot of work with young women about the importance of self-love, self-worth, your self-esteem,” Starks said. “That plays into this business very well because you have to be confident as a woman out here.”
Hall advocates for women to take control of their jobs in the newsroom and establish an alliance for all women to support each other.
“I decided it was something I had to put on myself and create a place for women in the news business. If they are podcast listeners or just interested in learning about critique or talking about women’s issues, I just want them to have a place,” Hall said.
Before the podcast, Hall worked for nine years in TV news and witnessed scenes of harassment in the newsroom that prompted her to speak out against the injustices. Over the last year, claims of sexual harassment have been made against a number of producers and news anchors.
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC’s Today Show in November 2017 for sexual harassment in the workplace. Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood producer, was fired after dozens of women came forward regarding sexual assault and rape allegations. Eight women told The Washington Post that Charlie Rose, former talk show host and journalist, had sexually harassed them. CBS, PBS, and Bloomberg LP suspended their contracts with Rose following the story.
In the podcast, Hall addresses issues such as sexual misconduct in the workplace, ways in which women can be successful together and other issues surrounding the journalism community.
“As a journalist, you’re really looking out for the public and their interests,” Hall said. “Considering the governing laws of this country and we as society deem as important and valuable enough to be in our constitution, we really need the press to look out for us.”
“Women on Deadline” can be streamed from womenondeadline.com.